Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts grants six substance use treatment centers new blue distinction designation

Among Massachusetts’ substance use treatment and recovery centers, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has recognized six for a new, nationally recognized designation to honor their dedication to improved patient safety and better health outcomes.

The designation is a part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are awarded based on objective measures created in conjunction with community and organizational input. All facilities must provide coordinated multidisciplinary care to their patients and offer quick access to quality medical and psychosocial care, at all phases of treatment. This must be paired with medication-assisted treatment that includes both medication and behavioral therapy.

“Opioid use disorders have cost Massachusetts thousands of lives in the last few years alone,” said Dr. Bruce Nash, chief physician executive at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. “Substance use disorders have a terrible impact on individuals, their families, and society. Improving access to high-quality treatment and recovery facilities is a priority for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and one way we are leading the effort to combat substance use. By meeting quality, safety, and outcomes measures, organizations that earn designation as Blue Distinction Centers, in general, provide better care, better results, and a better patient experience for our members.”

The newly designated facilities included: Baldplate Treatment Center, Harrington Memorial Hospital, New England Recovery Center, Gosnold Thorne Counseling Center, High Point Treatment Center, and the Washburn House.

Data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health showed that 6,180 people died in Massachusetts between 2016 and 2018 as a result of opioid overdoses, with estimates of at least 1,543 for 2019, and the possibility there were as many as 523 more. In 2017, such opioid use troubles cost Massachusetts businesses as much as $4.7 billion and the state budget more than $1.8 billion, according to a study by nonprofit RIZE Massachusetts.

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